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411’s EVOLVE 13 Report 5.12.12

May 16, 2012 | Posted by TJ Hawke

May 12, 2012
Concord, North Carolina

Commentators: Lenny Leonard, Johnny Gargano, Chuck Taylor, & Low Ki

Samuray Del Sol vs. Jigsaw vs. AR Fox vs. Ricochet
The winner of this match faces Johnny Gargano in the main event of this show for the Open the Freedom Gate Title. Don’t expect a very detailed play-by-play for this match, as this will likely be insane. Samuray Del Sol lost his only Evolve match, but he defeated Masato Yoshino in DGUSA, so his inclusion makes sense. Jigsaw is 1-1 in Evolve, but he was undefeated when he was announced for this match. Fox was 3-1, and Ricochet was 3-2 before the match.

Ricochet walked to the ring on his hands. Five Stars. Jigsaw and Ricochet did a tentative, back and forth sequence to start the match. Del Sol and Fox then tagged in and things got crazy. Things slowed down as Ricochet got worked over by all of his opponents. Ricochet survived, and he eventually started a sequence where everybody worked over Fox. Fox came back on Ricochet with a springboard Ace Crusher. Both men tagged out and Del Sol and Jigsaw then did an awesome sequence. Del Sol took him down with a spinning heel kick. Fox hit Ricochet with a springboard dropkick and a My Dick Explodes. Ricochet came back with a Zig Zag. Ricochet then hit a huge springboard lariat: 1…2…NO! Fox came back with a spike Paydirt: 1…2…NO! All four men hit some big moves and then all four men went down. Del Sol killed AR Fox with a reverse hurricanrana. Del Sol wiped him out with his double jump corkscrew plancha. That is one dangerous move, and I think Del Sol cracked his head on the apron doing it. Ricochet went to the top rope, but Jigsaw blocked him from doing anything. Jigsaw gave Del Sol a German: 1…2…RICOCHET HIT A SHOOTING STAR ON JIGSAW: 1…2…FOX MAKES THE SAVE! Great sequence. Fox then hit a spinning brainbuster on Ricochet: 1…2…Jigsaw makes the save! Fox then hit Jigsaw with Sliced Bread #2, Ricochet hit Fox with an Ace Crusher, and Del Sol hit Ricochet with a springboard 450. Fox then hit Del Sol with the Lo Mein Pain: 1…2…3!!!

Awesome opener. Fox and Del Sol especially shined in this match. Ricochet looked as good as usual. Jigsaw did everything well, but he didn’t seem to get the same chances to shine that the others did. Fox is an excellent choice to get a Freedom Gate Title shot, and I hope he becomes a DGUSA main eventer this year.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Silas Young vs. Adam Page
This is Page’s third match in Evolve. He’s lost his previous two matches. Silas Young has only appeared sporadically in Evolve, but he has a 3-1 record coming into this match. He also won a tag match at Evolve 12 that did not count towards his record.

Page looks for a handshake, but Young “doesn’t shake hands with punks.” Young is being billed as Wrestling’s Last Man, because he doesn’t do social media. Young hit a slingshot lionsault early, but Page came back with some chops and a standing shooting star press. Young cut him off with a backbreaker and a Bubba Bomb. Young hit some repeated shots to the head, and the referee ended the match due to Page not being able to respond. Awesome finish to get Young over as a killer.

As a big fan of Silas Young, I thought this was perfect. Young’s look and work is absolutely incredible, and I couldn’t be happier that it looks like he is getting a big push in Evolve. Hopefully, he’s brought back to DGUSA for the July shows. Page has some talent, but it’s just not his time for a push in Evolve.
Match Rating: Perfect Squash

Kyle Matthews vs. Caleb Konley (w/Jonny Fairplay & Amanda)
Matthews is known for his work in the Georgia area. He’s one of those wrestlers who needs a big break. Broken record time: Caleb Konley is really talented, but the Scene is not working as presently presented. This match should be quite good.

After some early back and forth action, Konley sent him to the floor. Konley started to get the heat. Matthews came back with an abdominal stretch. Konley escaped and hit a back senton: 1…2…NO! Lenny Leonard got in one of his trademark “broad” labels for Konley’s valet. And to think he actually called her by her name at Evolve 12. Matthews came back with a tornado DDT: 1…2…NO! Konley hit a bridging Regal-plex: 1…2…NO! Matthews came back with an IED and a small package: 1…2…NO! Konley hit a spinebuster and locked in an arm-trap Cloverleaf-like submission. Mathews verbally submitted to give Konley the win.

This was a nice match to continue the good start to this show. Konley is the one with a DGUSA roster spot, so it makes sense that he gets the win here. I wish he would get more high profile matches in Evolve though, so he can really show us everything he’s got. Matthews most definitely needs to be in Evolve more.
Match Rating: **1/2

Alex Reynolds vs. Jake Manning
Reynolds is 2-0 as a singles wrestler in Evolve. Jake Manning is 1-0.

Reynolds was in control early. Manning tried to use his Manscout book to look for a counter, but Reynolds still had the advantage. Manning consulted the Manscout handbook again, which apparently told him to kick Reynolds a lot to get the advantage. It worked. They had some miscommunication, and there was a really awkward 15 second sequence. Manning sent Reynolds to the floor, and Reynolds crashed onto a guardrail. Back in the ring, Manning hit a delayed vertical suplex and a running high knee. Reynolds came back with a running forearm and a running high knee that sent Manning to the floor. Reynolds went for Silverking plancha, but he tripped and hit the ring apron before crashing into Manning. Back in the ring, Manning avoided a pop-up gutbuster. Manning couldn’t avoid a middle-rope Codebreaker though: 1…2…NO! Reynolds went to the top rope, but Manning met him up there and hit a super butterfly suplex: 1…2…NO! Manning got cocky, and Reynolds got a jackknife pin for a nearfall. They both tried for pinning combinations, until Reynolds hit a 2K1 Stunner: 1…2…3. The crowd booed.

This match started OK, but it got sloppy (in a distracting way) a couple of the times and the fans didn’t really get invested. At least Reynolds won.
Match Rating: **1/4

Low Ki vs. Jon Davis
This is another huge match for Davis in a kayfabe and non-kayfabe sense.

They ended up in the corner, and Davis slapped Ki in the face. Davis went after the back of Ki. Ki came back with a big kick and some slaps. Davis came back with some big scoop slams. Ki hit some strikes, but Davis caught him and gave him a great buckle bomb: 1…2…NO! Ki came back with a kick to the ribs, and Davis ended up hung up in the ropes. Ki then pounced with a Ghetto Stomp! Ki hit a couple of body kicks and a big kick to the head: 1…2…NO! Ki went for a Tidal Crush, but Davis caught him and hit DAT SPINEBUSTER: 1…2…NO! That was an awesome counter. Davis tried for 3 Seconds Around the World, but Ki reversed it into a Dragon Sleeper. Davis stayed on his feet, so Ki tried for a Ki Krusher. Davis avoided it and tried for a powerbomb, but Ki escaped and hit a double stomp: 1…2…NO! Ki went for a Ki Krusher again, but Davis reversed it into a Jackhammer: 1…2…NO! They traded some strikes. Ki went for the springboard kick, but Davis came back with a POUNCE! Ki fell to the floor after that. They ended up on the top rope. Ki kicked him multiple times and Davis fell into the Tree of Joey Lawrence. GHETTO STOMP: 1…2…3!

Lenny Leonard comes to the ring and says that Low Ki is the first person ever to become 4-0 in Evolve (That’s kind of true. Chuck Taylor was 4-0, but his first win didn’t count for a while because of the early goofy Evolve storylines). Low Ki put over Jon Davis, and he sold the exhaustion of the match well. Ki says there is no point to the wins unless there is an Evolve Championship. I’m pretty sure that buries the DGUSA Title and the Wins Leader position all in one sentence. Lol Ki.

This was a very strong match, and it was my favorite singles match with Low Ki since he came to DGUSA/Evolve. The big difference in this match was that Low Ki actually worked the match so that his opponent looked as strong as possible. Davis looked like a potential main eventer for Evolve/DGUSA in this match, and I hoped that’s how he is booked going forward.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Mike Cruz vs. Chuck Taylor (w/ Jake Manning and Swamp Monster)
Chuck Taylor is the Wins/Best Record leader with a 7-3 record. Mike Cruz is 0-1.

Swamp Monster was really over with the crowd. Cruz hit a nice dropkick early. Taylor cut him off with a belly-to-belly suplex. Taylor started to work over Cruz after that. At one point, Taylor hit the slowest rolling senton over the rope. That disrespect woke Cruz up, but Taylor cut him off with a Rock Bottom. Cruz came back with a dropkick in the corner and a springboard blockbuster: 1…2…NO! Taylor came back with Sole Food, but Cruz came right back with a kick to the head and a bridging German suplex: 1…2…NO! Taylor locked in his single-leg crab, but Cruz managed to make the ropes. Cruz avoided an Awful Waffle and hit a DDT variation. Cruz went for a senton atomico, but Taylor blocked it with his knees. Taylor hit the Awful Waffle: 1…2…3

Chuck Taylor says he also wants the Evolve Championship if it’s created on top of his DGUSA Title match that he already has.

This match was solid and they seemed to have good chemistry, but they seemed to be holding back a bit. Cruz is really talented, but I don’t think he’s been given a true chance to excel yet in DGUSA/Evolve. Hopefully they see potential in him, and he gets some better opportunities going forward. On the bright side though, Chuck Taylor is getting a World Title shot, and I’m glad he’s being built up as a serious threat. DGUSA has had trouble with building up challengers to their titles in the past, but they are definitely putting in the effort here.
Match Rating: **1/2

El Generico vs. Sami Callihan
Low Ki joined the commentary table for this match. Yay. Generico almost pinned Callihan 10 seconds into the match. Things got chippy after that. Sami hit a series of forearms to the back of Generico’s head. Generico came up with a nice scoop slam for a nearfall. Generico controlled the match for a bit, but Callihan came back with an Ace Crusher on the ropes, a Silverking lariat, and a suicide dive. Callihan slammed Generico on the floor, looking to get the countout win. Generico got back into the ring, but Callihan sent him back to the floor. Callihan gave Generico an exploder onto the timekeeper (not the table, but the actual person). Callihan was looking for the countout win again, but Generico got back in at 19. Low Ki said on commentary Generico should have just stayed down. Lol Ki. Sami hit a couple of big boots in the corner. Sami went for a third, but Generico caught him with an exploder suplex into the corner. They got to their feet before the 10 count and traded some big strikes. Sami blocked one Yakuza and went to the top rope, but Generico gave him a Yakuza that sent him to the floor. Generico then wiped him out with a somersault plancha. Generico rolled him back in and went to the top rope: diving cross-body: 1…2…NO! Generico set up for a Yakuza, but Sami met him with a Brogue Kick! Generico hit a big swinging DDT: 1…2…NO! Callihan came back with a butterfly shoulderbreaker and a superkick to Generico’s knee: 1…2…NO! Callihan just killed him with a lariat for another nearfall. Another Brogue Kick from Callihan, but Generico came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb: 1…2…NO! Generico started to go to the top rope, but Sami superkicked the bad knee. Sami hit a top rope splash to the bad knee, and he then locked in the Stretch Muffler. Generico just made the ropes. Generico came back with a Yakuza, but Callihan locked in the Stretch Muffler. Generico reversed it into a rollup: 1…2…NO! MICHINOKU DRIVER: 1…2…NO! Generico followed it up with a half-nelson suplex and a brainbuster: 1…2…3!!!

Lenny Leonard tried to interview Generico about Low Ki after the match. Sami attacked Generico from behind, as Lenny Leonard pleaded with him to stop. Some officials came in, and Sami started to choke one of them. Low Ki ran in. Sami stopped and walked to the back. Generico and Low Ki stared at each other after this. If they meet up ever again, I will be cheering very hard for El Generico. I guess that’s something. Lenny Leonard speculated that Callihan will be suspended from Evolve for his post-match actions. The Sami Callihan face push is going to start soon.

It felt like these two went out and tried to have the best match they possible could with all the reversals and nearfalls you would expect from a classic main event. However, (at least to me) the atmosphere really held this match from being as special as it could have been. If this match happened in Reseda, it may have been one of the best matches of the year. Instead, we’ll have to settle for just a really, really good match.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Johnny Gargano© vs. AR Fox [Open the Freedom Gate Championship]
These two had a reportedly amazing match at the 2011 Jeff Peterson Cup. Considering the 2010 version of that tournament has yet to be released, I don’t think we can expect to see the 2011 version anytime soon.

Much like the last match, they got a little chippy early. Fox took him down with a dropkick, and then Fox hit his no-hands cross-body plancha. That may be the most impressive move in wrestling besides the double rotation moonsault. Fox went for the legdrop on the apron, but Gargano rolled out of the way. Gargano then hit three consecutive suicide dives. Back in the ring, Gargano locked in a complicated looking submission. It was one of those Quackenbush-type submissions that doesn’t look painful, but rather moderately uncomfortable. Fox survived that, but Gargano hit a back suplex. Fox came back with a springboard Ace Crusher. Fox followed that with a My Dick Explodes and a shooting star cannonball. Fox the hit a rolling DVD and a senton atomico: 1…2…NO! Gargano came back with a rolling kick and a slingshot DDT: 1…2…NO! GARGANO ESCAPE! Fox made the ropes. Fox came back with a pair of stunners. They both tried for dives, but neither connected. They ended up on the apron and Fox hit a Sliced Bread #2 on the apron. Fox then hit a springboard inverted cannonball splash that he kind of grazed Gargano on. Back in the ring, Fox hit a springboard 450: 1…2…NO! They got to their feet and traded some strikes. Gargano hit the Lawn Dart and a superkick. Fox avoided a Hurt’s Donut and hit the twisting brainbuster. Both men were down after that. Gargano blocked a Lo Mein Pain attempt and locked in the Gargano Escape. Fox was able to…escape. Fox went for a springboard Ace Crusher, but Gargano caught him and locked in the Gargano Escape again. Fox just made the ropes. Fox came back with a middle rope DVD and Celtic Cross: 1…2…NO! Fox went for a 450 Splash, but Gargano hit a superkick when Fox tried to land on his feet. Hurt’s Donut: 1…2…NO! Hurt’s Donut! Gargano Escape! Fox taps out!

After the match, Gargano called Fox the “definition of a champion.” Except for the whole holding any championships thing. Gargano then brought in the girl who wrote a paper called, “My Hero, Johnny Gargano.” Gargano had her pose in the ring with the Freedom Gate Championship belt, as the crowd chanted her name. Good thing this show didn’t happen in Philadelphia. This was a really nice gesture from Gargano and Evolve.

Broken record time: Much like the last match, these two tried to have the best match humanly possible, but the environment really prevented this from being truly great. These are two of my favorite wrestlers right now, and I still really enjoyed this. Gargano’s title reign continues to build some momentum, and Fox has hopefully solidified himself as a main eventer in DGUSA/Evolve.
Match Rating: ***3/4

The 411: This was one of, if not, the best shows in Evolve history. There is no one match that you have to go out of your way to see, but the four matches that needed to deliver, absolutely delivered. However, if Evolve at any point in its two and a half year history established a market that they regularly run in, maybe they could have run Evolve 12 and 13 (and their loaded cards) in front of a crowd that knew the characters and storylines and actually enhanced the entire show. This was a very successful weekend for Evolve in a creative sense, and I think it gives them a little bit of momentum that they without question have to capitalize on. Here are some things I would like to see from Evolve going forward:

1.) Shows should be run on a somewhat regular basis. I would suggest that there should be one or two Evolve shows every six weeks. People are creatures of habit. PWG doesn’t run often, but all of their fans can expect a new show to happen every 6 or 7 weeks. Evolve has run 13 shows over the course of 29 months, and they haven’t even been run in some sort of pattern. This has to change.
2.) Load up every show like these two shows. The Evolve brand has been severely damaged over its 2+ years of existence. They basically need to have a great show every time out for a year, before they get some positive buzz and develop a loyal iPPV/DVD buying audience. If they can’t get El Generico and/or Finlay in for every weekend, then they need to bring in some people who can produce similarly great results.
3.) Evolve needs to establish a brand identity. PWG is known for putting out killer DVDs every time out. Chikara is known for its fantastic storytelling. Even DGUSA is at least known for having the Dragon Gate talent as the backbone of its roster. What is Evolve? How would you describe what Evolve offers on any consistent basis?
4.) Evolve needs to assess which talents are worth pushing and push them hard. Based on this weekend, I would say that in addition to the already established names, Jon Davis, Samuray Del Sol, and Silas Young are the ones that have the biggest chance at being main eventers for the company. They can’t just be brought in when it’s convenient. They need to be pushed hard at every Evolve show, and they need to get better opportunities in DGUSA.

Recommendation: Thumbs Up for Evolve 13. If you were looking to give Evolve a try, this may be the show to start with. Buy it at WWNLive.com.

Thanks everybody for reading! You can send feedback to Twitter or at my email address: [email protected]

PLUGS!

My Favorite Matches in 2012 So Far

I am now the editor of a brand new wrestling website, FreeProWrestling.com . What is this site, you ask? It’s a website that posts a free wrestling match every single weekday. All matches are legally provided by the promotions that originally put them on. Occasionally, we are lucky enough to have the wrestlers of the matches exclusively discuss the matches retrospectively. So far, we’ve been lucky to have thoughts from Eddie Kingston , Prince Devitt , Sugar Dunkerton , AR Fox , and more! If you like wrestling and you hate spending money, I think you will enjoy it!

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TJ Hawke
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